Tuesday, May 28, 2013

SYTYCD Live Blog: Boston Auditions

9:58 Well what do I know, he went right on to Vegas. Rock on!
9:54 This guy is clearly not right for the show, but what a fun way to end Boston. He's very entertaining!
9:46 Very, very good Latin tonight, Hot tamale train!
9:36 This Anthony is phenomenal, such pretty technique and soft landings
9:35 I cannot with these nutty people who give up a chance to go to the choreography round, have sex on stage, and dance in bunny earmuffs.
9:14 E-Knock was beautiful. That was so heartfelt-exactly what dance should be about.
9:12 Geez why are all these people getting to work at dance studios and not me?
9:02 I love Shizzy-Shake! Everything is so natural for her, it doesn't look like she is working and that is the best thing you can have in a dancer.
8:58 I like this white boy, he is pretty slick. I like his attitude. His moves aren't anything we haven't seen before, but I like what he his overall performance.
8:46 Siblings are certainly the theme of this episode. Wow this girl is awesome! Those legs go on for days! I would love to see her do Balanchine's rubies!
8:38 I'm so jealous of this kid Tommy. I would give anything to open a dance studio and have my whole family involved. He has a quirky way about him. He has nice individual elements, but as a whole he kind of moves like a Disney witch.
8:33 I love this juxtaposition over contemporary look and sick body with the classic music and style. Lovely technique, I see the ballet in there but her face is so beautifully expressive. Her tat is rad...I bet that hurt like crazy.
8:32 First eating disorder of the season. Unfortunately this is still so common in the dance world. I want this girl to be a baller and dance out her feelings.
8:23 This kid is a very cool little brother, very complicated choreography to learn so quickly. PS that girl needs to cover herself a little more.
8:19 I agree with the judges, that was a pice of art. It was engaging and interesting! I loved that piece.
8:10 Natalie isn't bad, she's just pretty average with a strange gimmick. I'm with the judges, she didn't do enough to show that she should make it to the next round.
8:08 Natalie: "I'm auditioning because it's on my bucket list to do before I'm 30". That is all...
8:05 Phillip is too soft and sloppy, Ashley has the right look. She is obnoxious and he has the personality of a tube sock. Get rid of them both.
8:04 This is so freaking scripted. They talked to Cat about dating and then Nigel asks them about dating? This girl is freaking annoying, I want her gone ASAP!
8:03 I wish I were 19.....Did Ashley and Phillip stop dating because he is gay?
8:01 Great, Mary is wearing neon and Adam Shankman is here with his queer self.
8:00 I hope the Boston dancers are Wicked Awesome!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Diary of a Dancer: Entry 1, Post-Performance Depression

This is a new series here on the blog. It might be weekly, it might be monthly, it might be sporadic, but I'm going to write it. I just finished a production of A Chorus Line, a show that highlights the amazing things that dancers do for love and so I feel compelled to put all of these thoughts and feelings into words. I'll be covering many different topics in my "Diary of a Dancer" series from the sappy to the serious, but what I am striving for above all is honesty. It's a terribly difficult thing to be a dancer, but it's also a beautiful thing, and I think we are all special because of it.

Today we are going to examine something that we all go through, but we don't always talk about, and that is post-performance depression. Imagine building a house for weeks or months, and then the whole bottom falls out of it. This is what it is like for a dancer when a show ends. You work tirelessly, put the rest of your life on the back burner, sacrifice your body and your emotions, and then it just ends. When you do something that feels so right and makes you feel so good about yourself, it's hard when it's not there because there is a void. This is the nature of the artform-shows cannot go on forever-but that still doesn't make it any easier. I think what make it so hard is that you rarely know when your next show comes along, though actors and other artists experience that as well. However, what makes dance so fleeting is the fact that our bodies don't last forever. I've never met a dancer who hasn't dealt with injury and when it comes right down to it, we are all only one serious injury away from never dancing again.

This might sound depressing, and it is, but oddly enough, it also teaches you how to live in the moment. A Chorus Line is the first time I've danced onstage since college, nearly three years ago, but I've never appreciated a performance opportunity more than this one. I've known, for the past three years, what it feels like not to dance and I never want to go through that again. I had honestly started to believe that I didn't need dance in my life anymore, but I was very wrong. I will always be grateful to A Chorus Line for reminding me that dance isn't something I "want" to do. It is something I "have" to do.

Because this experience was so personal for me, both because it is my all time favorite show and because it brought me back to dance, it will be one of the hardest to get over. I will take away amazing memories, and most importantly my renewed love of dance, but that doesn't make it any easier. When you are a dancer and your show ends, it's hard not to lose your sense of purpose. When the audience is gone, and the lights, music, and costumes, you are left with yourself. When you feel most at home on a stage and that is gone, it is very difficult to find your place in the world again. It always hits me hard, so I certainly don't have a cure for it, but what I have learned over the years is that the best shows and the best dancing experiences come to you when you need them the most and that brings me great comfort. My day job is not in the arts and that has been very difficult for me to come to terms with. I had become robotic and cold, but A Chorus Line saved me from that, and helped me to find myself again. Yes post-performance depression is very real and no, I don't know when I'm going to dance again, but what I do know is that I WILL dance again and and that, something that I could not convincingly say four months ago, is what will keep me going.

If you have experienced these feelings or something similar, leave me a comment below.

I will end this post here as I will end all of my entries and say that being a dancer takes our guts, our emotions, and our soul, but we're willing to give it again and again, wholeheartedly, just for one more chance to dance.

Dancingly yours,

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

SYTYCD LIVE BLOG: LA and Austin Auditions

9:55 This little girl is so powerful, this is fantastic. I've never seen anything like that.
9:54 This whole family dancing together. This is gorgeous, so moving.
9:53 I'm excited to see the exorcist again, I kind of forget what he looked like.
9:41 This poor Nick had to stand there and wait while these judges all bitch brunch. Wow...how professional. Wait, this guy is awesome!
9:34 The girl from Venezuela did nothing for me really. She was a nice dancer, just nothing stood out for me.
9:27 Shane was inspirational...that is the purpose of dancing afterall. We dance to say the things we can't say with our voices.
9:19 What do you say about Dannon other than that he is quirky? I bet he goes to choreography. He is rough around the edges. His technique has some problems, but he is so interesting to watch.
9:11 This montage showed such great dancing, why couldn't we see them instead of a 4-year-old?
9:09 This family has a cool vibe. The dad is so hip-hop, but the son is such a cool blend of hip-hop and contemporary
9:05 I love Donovan, he's like a mix of hip hop and contemporary, I love how he's kind of rough around the edges
8:56 I loved that jump out of the coupe turn, really cool combination move. This chick has great feet!
8:55 I'm glad they sent him to Disney World, that was precious
8:52 Sorry, I'm not amused by this kid, spend the time on real dancers who work their asses off to be here
8:49 Mary, your hair, I cannot
8:44 Minnie fricking Driver? What on earth is she doing on a dance show?
8:43 Go away Sasha! Nobody even liked you on your own season
8:42 Mackenzie was the best dancer we've seen so far
8:40 I like Mackenzie...this dance is actual contemporary, not just lyrical like what most dancers call contemporary. There is something so captivating about her.
8:39 Isn't it funny how Nigel "knows" when to ask if the dancer's parents are in the business?
8:37 That girl in the gold lame number looked like the Sheila in our production of A Chorus Line
8:31 I want Nigel to come up with something other that "cue music" but Millie is pretty good. His moves aren't anything we haven't seen, but he has a special kind of personality.
8:27 Dude on Pointe and a chicken dance....where on earth do the find these crazies?
8:20 Mary will love these Latin dancers, she always does
8:09 This girl has great technique and we get that she can coupe turn, but she's not doing much for me
8:08 Oh lord we have a sob story and a daughter of a dance teacher.
8:05 What on earth was that guy doing? Why did he even go on to the choreography? That's just silly. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

SYTYCD Live Blog: Season 10 Premiere!

8:58 Oh geez, I never thought I'd have to see Sasha's crazy face again :(
8:56 Okay, these guys are actually pretty good. Not show good....but they have a cool story and decent moves to back it up.
8:54 Not sure what to expect from this last crew.
8:50 I'm over these "guest judges" that know nothing about dance. I want Andy Blankenbuehler, Rob Ashford, Twyla Tharp, Kenny Ortega, Bill T Jones...or really anybody who knows anything about dance. Rant over
8:48 Is this a Russian Rapper? Is that what's happening? Mary is all about him. She has that cougar look in her eye.
8:46 After all these years I will never "get" b-boying. I just don't understand how you learn it??
8:45 I expect big things from "one of the best b-boys in the world"
8:40 Enough already Jessie, if you can't talk about injuries without throwing up, get off of the dance show
8:39 I'm loving Taylor's strong style. Great to see a muscular girl who isn't a twig. There's no way she started in college
8:38 We've all been there girl. I'm pulling for you. I too have loose joints and that is rough rough rough!
8:32 Adding that moaning rendition of "Send In The Clowns" to the torn ACL was excruciating times two
8:31 Wait, did she just start dancing in college? Or did she dance before? I just cannot do these sad stories anymore. However will I get through this summer?
8:29 That freaky girl walking on her hands reminded me of Tori Amos as a b-girl
8:26 Tutu necklace boy...we've got our first nut of the year. He is straight up crazy, but his movements are so original. I bet he goes to the choreo round.
8:20 The Benji of Armenia? Hmmm...that's interesting
8:18 First time we've had a winner from another country. That is interesting..... I always find it awkward when only one of the partners is actually auditioning. Like, should we ignore the other one?
8:12 This blonde girl seems very natural, but with a little crazy behind her eyes. I'm intrigued!
8:09 Geez this girl just said she was partially deaf...dead pan. I like her already! She has spunk and her mom was a dancer. That's so Sheila from A Chorus Line.
8:08 We have our first "feelingsy story of the season" that's how you know we are on reality TV. You don't get on this show without an emotional story. This girl from Utah looks like Tinker Bell.
8:07 Sorry, they let Fiction have too much time, he's just not all that interesting. However, the judges seem to love it so color me baffled.
8:05 Wait, his name is Fiction? Did he really not know they do a week in Vegas? We've seen all these moves before, but he has a quirky personality!
8:03 SYTYCD Season 10 here we go! We're starting in LA!